Mozambique and the United States will conduct a military exercise in the northern province of Cabo Delgado in the southeastern African country on Tuesday to combat maritime piracy as well as drug, human and wildlife trafficking.
The information was released on Monday in Maputo in a joint statement from the Mozambican ministry of defense and the U.S. government through its embassy in Mozambique.
“Illicit trafficking in drugs, wildlife products and human beings is a continuing challenge for Mozambique, the United States and partner countries around the world,” read the statement.
“The exercise was designed to strengthen multilateral cooperation between naval forces operating in the Indian Ocean and will focus on the development of skills related to the identification, approach and pursuit of suspicious vessels at sea,” it said.
The “Cutlass Express” naval drill, an exercise sponsored by the U.S. Africa Command (US AFRICOM), and conducted by Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF), is held every year. This year, 15 countries will join the 11-day exercise.
Mozambique has signed the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct in 2017 which offers the possibility of creating national and regional capacities to respond to maritime security issues.
The statement was released without a mention of the recent armed attacks causing fear and displacement in Cabo Delgado. Enditem